Newbery Winners
2002 - 2006

2006  Medal Winner

Criss Cross by Perkins, Lynne Rae YA Newbery PER

The author of the popular All Alone in the Universe (HarperCollins, 1999) returns with another character study involving those moments that occur in everyone's life–moments when a decision is made that sends a person along one path instead of another. Debbie, who wishes that something would happen so she'll be a different person, and Hector, who feels he is unfinished, narrate most of the novel. Both are 14 years old. Hector is a fabulous character with a wry humor and an appealing sense of self-awareness. A secondary story involving Debbie's locket that goes missing in the beginning of the tale and is passed around by a number of characters emphasizes the theme of the book. There is a great deal of humor in this gentle story about a group of childhood friends facing the crossroads of life and how they wish to live it.

Honor books

Whittington by Alan Armstrong, illustrated by S.D. Schindler J ARM

In Whittington, Armstrong creates a glorious barnyard fantasy that seamlessly weaves together three tales: Whittington the cat’s arrival on Bernie’s farm, his retelling of the traditional legend of his 14th-century namesake, and one boy’s struggle to learn to read. These three tales unite the disparate citizens of the barn community in a celebration of oral and written language, the support of friends, the healing power of humor and the triumph of life.

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti YA 943.086 CAM

How could the Holocaust have happened? Bartoletti delivers a chilling answer by exploring Hitler’s rise to power through the first-hand experiences of young followers whose adolescent zeal he so successfully exploited and the more extraordinary few who risked certain death in resisting. The meticulously researched volume traces the Hitler Youth movement from the time it formally gathered strength in the early 1930s through the defeat of the Third Reich. The grace and clarity of the writing make Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow a powerful addition to Holocaust literature for children.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale YA HAL

Miri and the other young women of her rocky highland village are forced to leave their close-knit community when the prince must choose a bride in “The Princess Academy.” Like the miri flower, which sprouts from the cracks in the linder rock, Miri soon becomes the strong, resilient and courageous leader of the academy. The book is a fresh approach to the traditional princess story with unexpected plot twists and great emotional resonance.

Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott J E WOO

“And the children leaned in./And listened real hard.” Jacqueline Woodson’s magnificent poem Show Way tells the story of slavery, emancipation and triumph for each generation of her maternal ancestors. She pays tribute to the creative women who guided their “tall and straight-boned” daughters to courage, self-sufficiency and freedom. Whether with quilts or stories, poems or songs, these women discovered and shared the strength to carry on. “There’s a road, girl./There’s a road.”

2005  Medal Winner

Kira-Kira by Kadohata, Cynthia YA Newbery KAD

Glittering. That's how Katie Takeshima's sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is "kira-kira" because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is "kira-kira" for the same reason. And so are people's eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it's Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it's Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering -- "kira-kira" -- in the future.

Honor books

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko YA Cho

A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.

The Voice that Challenged a Nation: "Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights" by Russell Freedman j 921 Anderson, M., Fre

In the mid-1930s, Marian Anderson was a famed vocalist who had been applauded by European royalty and welcomed at the White House. But, because of her race, she was denied the right to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. This is the story of her resulting involvement in the civil rights movement of the time.

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt  YA Sch

In 1911, Turner Buckminster hates his new home of Phippsburg, Maine, but things improve when he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl from a poor, nearby island community founded by former slaves that the town fathers--and Turner's--want to change into a tourist spot.

2004  Medal Winner

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread,  by Kate DiCamillo - j Newbery Dic

“The Tale of Despereaux” draws the reader into an enchanting account of a smaller-than-usual mouse in love with music, stories and a princess named Pea. This tiny hero faints at loud noises but gathers the courage to fulfill his dreams. 

Honor books 

Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes,  YA Hen

12-year-old Martha receives a page from the journal of a classmate, Olive, who has died in an accident. Olive's entry about a desire to be Martha's friend, to see the ocean, and to become a writer propels Martha into a journey from childhood to the brink of adolescence. Beautiful and powerful imagery drawn from the sun, sand and sea of Martha's summer with her family and friends at Cape Cod skillfully reflects the pain and joy of Martha's coming-of-age and awareness of her own mortality.

An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy,  YA 614.5 Mur

“An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793” dramatically recounts the true story of the yellow fever epidemic that nearly decimated the population of Philadelphia at the end of the 18th century. Integrating newspapers, diaries, personal testimonies and period illustrations, the narrative delivers a social and medical history of the times and raises chilling questions about the disease today.

2003 Medal Winner

Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi.- YA NEWBERY Avi 

This book is an action-filled page-turner set in 14th-century England. “Asta’s son” is the only name the 13-year-old title character has ever known when he is suddenly orphaned and stripped of home and possessions. Accused of murder and wanted dead or alive, Crispin flees his village and falls in with a juggler, Bear, who becomes his protector and teacher. Relentlessly pursued by Crispin’s enemies, the pair flees to solve the mystery of his identity and fight the injustices of feudalism.

Honor Books

The House of the Scorpion
by Nancy Farmer -  YA Farmer, N. 

To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by sinister characters. Around every turn in this vivid, futuristic adventure is a heart-stopping surprise with unforgettable consequences.  (also won Top 10 Best Books for Young Adults 2003 & Michael L. Printz Honor Book for 2003) 

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff -  YA Giff, P. 

Hollis Woods has run away from almost every foster home she's ever been placed in. When she is sent to live with Josie, a quirky but elderly artist, Hollis wants to stay. But Josie grows more forgetful, and Hollis fears Social Services may take her away and move Josie to a home. Hollis won't let anyone separate them--she's escaped the system before; this time, she'll take Josie with her.

Hoot by Carl Hiassen - YA Hiassen, C.

From the best selling mystery novelist comes this story for younger readers. New to Florida, Roy is on the school bus when he spots the running boy--running away from the bus, carrying no books or wearing no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy's trail, which leads him to potty-trained alligators, a fake-fart champion, and a renegade eco-avenger.

A Corner of the Universe by Anne M. Martin - YA Martin, A.
Twelve-year-old Hattie learns that living life fully means facing both the good times and the bad upon the closing of her Uncle Adam's "school"--an institution for the mentally disabled.

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan - YA Tolan, S. 

Word is Jack Semple was kicked out of every school in his home state. Now, the only place that will take him is the Creative Academy, a home school run by a chaotic, quarrelsome family named Applewhite. When Jake meets E.D. Applewhite, a scruffy girl longing for order, the only thing they have in common is the determination to survive the family's eccentricities.

2002 Medal Winner

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. YA NEWBERY Park, S.

Tree-ear, an orphan, has become fascinated with the potters' craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes on Tree-ear as his helper, Tree-ear is elated--until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min's irascible temper, and his own ignorance. However, Tree-ear is determined to prove himself.  Ages 9-12

Honor Books

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath. j Horvath, P.

Eleven-year-old Primrose Squarp tells of her parentsU disappearance at sea, and her living arrangement with her Uncle Jack. Primrose's only refuge is at a local restaurant, where the owner, Miss Bowzer, serves everything on waffles--except advice and good sense. This National Book Award Finalist includes recipes. Grades 5-7

Carver: A Life In Poems by Marilyn Nelson. YA 811 NEL

This collection of poems provide a lyrical account of revered African-American botanist and inventor George Washington Carver, who was raised by white slave owners and went on to head the agricultural department at the Tuskegee Institute and conducted research for innovative uses for crops such as cowpeas, sweet potatoes, and peanuts. Grades 6 and up